Why Not Call It ‘Mario Kart 3DS?’ Because 7 is a Lucky Number, Says Miyamoto

on November 22, 2011 8:30 PM

First there was Super Mario Kart. Then Mario Kart 64. Then came Super Circuit, Double Dash!! and — ah, you get the idea. Until now, every game in the series had some kind of subtitle attached to it. But not the series’ 3DS debut. Oh, no: Mario Kart 7 is too good for subtitles.

Shigeru Miyamoto told Famitsu that, after wracking their brains over what to call a Mario Kart with paragliding and underwater exploration, the team behind Mario Kart 7 decided to just stick a number at the end of the title.

“Coming up with the title was actually a lot of trouble for us,” Miyamoto said. “But it is the seventh game, and so it just sort of came down to what felt best. Besides, 7 is supposed to be a lucky number, isn’t it?”

I guess? Call me cynical, but it seems like the title was a bit of an afterthought.

Maybe the team felt sticking 3D at the end of the game’s title was too gimmicky. Then again, Nintendo did it with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64. Whatevah. I’m not as intrigued in the title as I am in the rest of the game’s development. Did Shiggy pull the ol’ “upending the tea table” when he felt the team needed to go back to formula?

Apparently not.

“The way the gliders fly isn’t particularly faithful to real life, but I think it feels pretty good in action,” Miyamoto said. “I was actually pretty well against some of the customization features of the game, though. It can be fun to win money for racing and use it to buy parts and such, but I didn’t think that had much to do with the core fun of the series.”

Even though he wasn’t too big on the idea of using coins won from races to upgrade karts, Miyamoto said he let the team stick with it because it didn’t affect the core gameplay in the end.

As the game’s Dec. 4 release draws near, I can’t help but wonder how it’ll feel to glide through the air or propel underwater in Mario Kart. After all, the flight can’t be better than it was in Diddy Kong Racing — which I would love a sequel to, by the way — nor can the underwater segments be much worse than the hovercraft races in the same game.

I’ll let you know how it all feels when I receive my review copy. Until then, let us know how you feel about the name and game mechanics in the comments.

Thanks to 1UP for the tip.

 /  Staff Writer
Eder is a journalism major at the University of Oregon and copy chief of Flux, the School of Journalism and Communication's flagship magazine. When he's not playing video games or writing about them, Eder enjoys going to concerts, walking the UO campus with his trusty iPod, James McCloud, and climbing steep hills in running shoes. His favorite games include Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong Country 2, Bioshock and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.